A recent analysis that has been reported in major media outlets suggests that the efforts on the part of states to crack down on distracted driving with tough penalties aimed at those who choose to text and drive or use their cell phones while driving might not be making much of a dent in the bigger problem.

For instance, the analysis suggested that many Kansas City motorists heed laws prohibiting the use of handheld electronic devices. Thus, overall, fewer drivers choose to use their phones while driving at all, and those who do are more likely to use a hands-free device.

However, it was hard to draw any conclusion that these laws were actually reducing the number of traffic accidents.

Furthermore, according to the analysis, which observed the behavior of about 12,000 drivers, while fewer motorists were noticed with cell phones, the number did not represent a statistically significant decline, meaning that the decrease could be for any number of reasons.

At the same time, the number of people seen actually pressing buttons on their phones actually increased slightly since the last time the study was conducted. On the whole, the analysis estimated that about 23 percent of all motorists, about 1 in 4, were in the habit of using their phones while operating their vehicles.

Based on these results, it would seem that new laws and better law enforcement will only do so much to prevent the pervasive problem of distracted driving. Should a distracted driver cause an auto accident, another option for holding him or her accountable is to file a personal injury lawsuit claiming compensation for the driver’s negligence.